Picture: @TreasuryRSA/Twitter
Johannesburg – National Treasury on Tuesday distanced itself from an opinion piece written by Professor Chris Malikane, an economic adviser to the Minister of Finance, saying that the nationalisation of banks is not government policy.

This comes after Malikane, an economics professor from the University of the Witwatersrand, penned an eight-page opinion piece which called for nationalisation of banks, mines, and insurers in a bid to achieve "radical economic transformation".

Malikane called for "expropriation of white monopoly capitalist establishments such as banks, insurance companies, mines and other monopoly industries to industrialise the economy".

Malikane, who was roped in as economic adviser by Gigaba when he assumed office on April 1, said in his opinion piece that the first phase of the democratic revolution in South Africa, the "post-1994 breakthrough", was fast approaching its end.

However, Treasury said in a statement that the views expressed in Malikane's opinion piece were not necessarily government policy, saying that Malikane was within his rights as an academic and an activist to contribute ideas to national discourse on any subject.

"Minister Malusi Gigaba wishes to place on record that the work of the Ministry of Finance will continue to be guided by policies of the ANC, as articulated in conference resolutions and in the 2014 election manifesto. The nationalisation of banks is not government policy.

"The Ministry of Finance remains committed to leverage on all available policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural – to achieving strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth."

Last week Gigaba assured investors that the State would stick to fiscal discipline and inclusive growth, and try to avoid further downgrades and in the medium term, to restore our investment-grade rating.

He will be attending the IMF and World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC. Gigaba has called on all sectors of South African society to work together and support the work that the Ministry of Finance is doing to avoid further downgrades.

African News Agency